29 November 2011

Witloof, Orange & Pomegranate Salad

On Friday I headed to Art of Produce for some inspiration for my weekend cooking. Inspiration was required, as for the last couple of weeks work has well and truly taken over, all worth it and an exciting project but balance went a little by the wayside.   So a relaxing weekend for me with a little reading, a little chilling and of course a little kitchen time to bring back the balance, the yin back in line with the yang.

I can always rely on Art of Produce for wonderfully fresh fruit and veg but also for a little inspiration as guaranteed they will have something I am not too familiar with or something I have never come across at all.  Fridays picking included white asparagus (yes it was quite exciting) and witloof, or chicory or Belgian endive....so many names for one small unassuming little vegetable!

Belgian endive also know as French endive, witlof in Dutch, witloof in Belgian Dutch or in the USA, chicory in the UK and even chicon in some parts of Northern France.  It has a small head of cream coloured bitter leaves and is grown underground or indoors to stop the leaves turning green or opening up. It is kept just below the soil surface as it grows with only the very tips of the leaves peeking out above the surface.  They can be stuffed, baked, boiled or raw in salads and have a slightly bitter flavour.

I felt like salad, though wrapped in prosciutto and baked in a bechamel sauce topped with Parmesan sounded pretty good too but the salad fits in to my pre Christmas healthy living a little better,  and with the sunny, if a little windy (read blustery and somewhat chilly), days I am still determinedly in the mood for salad.

I found some watercress and a pomegranate and this salad started to come together in my head.  I love those little jewels inside the pomegranate, just like little rubies.  Moreover I love their tartness and that little crunch.  Add to that some oranges for a fruity citrus hit and maybe a little crunch from some toasted walnuts.  For the dressing...well I tossed up between keeping it clean and simple with a light bright orange vinaigrette or a continuation of the pomegranate with a little pomegranate molasses vinaigrette.  Light and bright won out to allow all the flavours to come in to there own. Much as I love pomegranate molasses it can be quite overpowering.

Witloof, Orange and Pomegranate Salad

Serves 4


2 witloof
4 cups mixed greens, I used watercress, spinach and some sunflower sprouts, another find at Huckleberry
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
1 orange, skin and pith removed and cut in to segments, the sweetest of oranges will make all the difference to this salad.

Sunflower sprouts
Orange and Pomegranate Dressing
Zest of one orange
Juice of half an orange
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch salt


Place all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl, leaving aside a few walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.  For the dressing whisk together all the ingredients and drizzle a little over the salad, just enough to coat the salad.  Top with a few more walnuts and pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.

Light, refreshing and a pretty near perfect salad for summer, the flecks of crimson pomegranate and brightness of the orange giving it a little festive spirit. It certainly would be good along side a little turkey if looking for some lighter sides this holiday season. I love the peppery watercress and the clean crunch from the witloof, then tart crunchy pomegranate and what was the sweetest orange I have had in a long, long time.  Topping it all off a toasty mellow nuttiness from the walnuts and coated in the light, a little fruity and a little tart dressing. 

If you like this you might like this Fresh Beets with Coriander Seeds 



  1. Ohhh pomegranates are so beautiful! I do love whitloof too, even with all its bitterness.

    White asparagus! Have never seen it in person but it's so exciting (is that sad? LOL)

  2. @hungryandfrozen Ha ha...I don't think sad, just a little food obsessed! I had never seen it before either so I was most definitely excited!

  3. Love this post, it so so reminds me of when I lived in Holland, my friends introduced me to both witlof and white asparagus and often made witlof salad with interesting fruit mixes. And the Dutch LOVE white asparagus, they hang out for the short season of them...but to me they can grow very large and a little rude looking haha!

  4. @Antipodean Parisienne Oh that made me laugh! Thanks for stopping by.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...